How to Improve Study Skills & Get Organized: Use a Study Guide Template

Quick! You have an exam in a week. What’s your study plan?

Will you spend hours reading the material? Take notes? Use flashcards? Cram it all in the night before?

Most people in this situation wouldn’t think very far ahead when deliberating on how to study. They’d just wing it, most likely pull an all-nighter the night before, and hope for the best when the time comes for them to take the exam.

The problem with this is that it’s lazy. And lazy studying only gets you mediocre results (at best).

But this doesn’t mean spending long, grueling hours studying every day is the way to go. In fact, research shows that students that are consistently successful actually spend less time studying than their peers; they just do it more effectively.

So, what should you do then?

In this Process Street article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about how to study effectively and efficiently.

We’ll be covering:

First off, if you’re just here to grab our Study Guide Template, here it is below:

Study Guide Template

Alright, let’s get started with the basics!


The answer to this question can vary from person to person, but one thing’s for sure: Cramming the night before an exam isn’t an effective long-term solution for anyone.

Figuring out what study methods work best for you should be a continuous process. And when you leave studying to the last minute, it doesn’t give you much opportunity to become mindful of what areas you could improve on to optimize your information retention and the depth of your understanding of the material.

Put your phone on airplane mode

Most American phone users spend an average of 5.4 hours on their mobile phones daily.

That’s 82 days out of the year. Spent solely on your phone.

Our relationship with technology has grown deeper than ever and because of this, multitasking has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives. And though some people believe they’re “good at multitasking,” that just isn’t the case.

Multitasking is never as productive as focused work. When you’re constantly switching between different things, your brain has to stop and realign itself each time you shift focus. It simply wastes time.

Let’s say there are two students studying for an exam: One spends 4 hours studying in between checking notifications and replying to texts, and the other spends 1 hour focusing solely on studying the material.

Though the first student may have spent significantly more time studying than the second, chances are that the first student would find that very little of the material actually retained by the time it comes to take the exam.

Not only would the second student spend less time studying (leaving them with more time in the day to do as they please), but they would also perform better on the exam.

It’s a win-win situation.

Crush those bad study habits

Most people, when studying for an exam, only ever achieve short-term results. How many times have you crammed the night before a test, and a week later, forgotten everything you studied?

Though these kinds of ineffective study habits may buy you some time, as the material progresses and builds upon what you were expected to have already learned, you’ll

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